Drupal 10 released in December 2022 and ever since, the community has been pushing its users to migrate to the latest version.
As many as 54% of all Drupal sites are running on Drupal 7.
Using an outdated version has downsides. Businesses miss out on technological advancements and new features that can speed up and safeguard their digital properties.
With the release of Drupal 10 and the fact that Drupal 7 will reach end of life in November 2023, it is crucial to migrate to Drupal 10 soon. Here’s why enterprises should plan their Drupal 10 migration now, and not wait until the last moment.
Why should you migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10?
Drupal 10 brings automated updates, improved user experience, along with several other feature additions. These components will be more secure, user-friendly, and powerful. Let’s dive deep into why enterprises must plan their Drupal 7 to 10 migration.
- Community support: As an open source CMS, community support is what keeps Drupal's continuous innovation ongoing. With Drupal community prioritizing and actively focusing on security of newer versions, as and when Drupal 7 reaches end of life, the community support will seize. This primarily jeopardizes the security of your Drupal 7 website. This also means that contributed modules and themes that are currently used in your Drupal 7 website, will also lose support for maintenance. This would bring challenges in website maintenance.
- New features and upgrades: Another consequence of not upgrading to latest version is that certain functionalities may cease to perform as intended. Or there may be better alternatives available. Not only can this cause extra annoyance among website maintainers, but resolving these issues may incur additional expenditures for your company owing to the time and resources required to do so. In Drupal 7, while developers had to manually upgrade/updates or search for modules from drupal.org , Drupal 10 has simplified this with Automated updates and Project browser, respectively. A lot of Drupal 7 features are either incorporated out-of-the-box in Drupal 10 or simply removed to maintain ease-of-use.
- Automatic updates: Drupal sites require manual upgrading, which may be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. Delays in applying security upgrades can lead to hacked sites. The Automated Updates Initiative seeks to give Drupal sites safe, secure automatic updates. In order to minimize the total cost of ownership of maintaining a Drupal site, increase the security of Drupal sites in the wild, and lower the entry barrier for utilizing Drupal, a safe mechanism for automatically deploying updates in Drupal is to be implemented.
- Project browser: Module installation and locating involve too many steps. Some steps call for you to navigate away from your Drupal site and visit Drupal.org. Other procedures, like utilizing Composer from the command line, need technical knowledge. For users who are new to Drupal and site builders, project browser aims to make it simpler to identify and install modules. This eliminates the need to visit Drupal.org or other sites. It is one of the primary Drupal strategic projects that determines the platform's development goals.
- New themes: Olivero & Claro - The Drupal 7 "Seven" theme from 2009 gave off an out-of-date system impression. Seven was replaced by the new "Claro" theme, which was created in accordance with the most recent requirements. The front-end theme, "Olivero," was created to fit with features that are well-liked by users, such as the Layout Builder. The Olivero theme will be WCAG AA compliant.
The simple finding and installation of modules should empower Drupal newcomers as well as "ambitious site builders" – Dries Buytaert
- Technical Dependencies: Drupal work on current supported PHP versions. Recommended PHP versions are the best choice for building a Drupal site because they will remain supported longer. Drupal 10 is built on PHP version 8.0 while 7 is built on PHP 7 which is also reaching end of life. This creates technical dependencies in supporting the platform better.
- jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Forms- Drupal 7 includes old and unsupported versions of these libraries. jQuery's current version is 3.6.x. Drupal 7 includes 1.4.2. Other libraries have comparable challenges. You may minimize this little with the jQuery Update module, although the most recent version is 2.1.x. Drupal 8 and later (as well as many other content management systems) make it simple to provide API access to your content. In the age of "publish everywhere," this is a critical feature. Drupal 7 has some basic API support, but if you want a full-fledged API with write support, you'll have to create it yourself, which adds technical debt and possible vulnerabilities.
- CKEditor 5 update from CKEditor 4 - With a thorough rebuild and an exciting new feature set, CKEditor 5 gives Drupal 10 a modern, collaborative editor experience. Users of programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs will be used to the new CKEditor's interface. It also offers common tools for collaboration like comments, change suggestions, version histories, and other accepted editing practices. Additionally, it has outputs to.docx and.pdf files for straightforward conversion to print formats. Although the integration is still being worked on, Drupal core 9.3 already has an experimental version if you want to try it out.
- Composer 2 and PHP 8 support - Although back porting of composer 2 to Drupal 8 was successful, PHP 8 compatibility was not. PHP 8 will be required for Drupal 10 because PHP 7 will be discontinued in November 2022.
- Modules that have gone out of support: The Drupal 10 core will be updated to eliminate a few modules that are redundant or are not frequently used. For uniformity, these modules will be transferred to the Contributed Module area. Gathers and presents syndicated material from outside sources (RSS, RDF, and Atom feeds).
- QuickEdit: In-place content editing
- HAL - Serializes entities using the Hypertext Application Language.
- Users may keep track of recent content with the activity tracker feature.
- RDF – Enhances websites with metadata so that other systems may comprehend their characteristics.
Along with all of these benefits, frequent upgrades of your Drupal website aid in increased website security and performance.
You will have to leave Drupal 7 behind. Eventually, the opportunity cost of continuing to use software that is more than 10 years old is substantial, and once it is considered End of Life (EOL), the risk and expense of an uncovered vulnerability increases rapidly.
There are several possibilities available to you, and you have an additional year to choose and make plans for one of them. The ideal option will rely on the expertise level of your team, the amount of business logic you have included into Drupal 7, and your projected budget.
Drupal 7 will reach end of life in November 2023, Drupal experts recommend that organizations begin migrating to Drupal 10 soon and not wait till November 2023.
If you want to migrate your website to Drupal 9 and prepare for Drupal 10, you may rely on our Drupal migration skills and expertise.
OpenSense Labs, as a Drupal partner, is committed to providing active support. Contact us at [email protected] for a long-term and fruitful collaboration.